Horace Mann on Wednesday evening hosted a PTA-organized forum intended to jump start a community conversation about making city streets near our schools safer and more bike-friendly for children and parents. The forum was organized by current Horace Mann PTA president Jeffrey Grijalva and past President Howard Goldstein and moderated by Horace Mann parent Jeffrey Courion, who is an advocate for building community the old-fashioned way: by walking our streets and running errands by bicycle.
An update following today’s City Council’s April 17th Study Session. In our earlier review of the draft request for proposals (RFP) for the Santa Monica Boulevard conceptual design, we noted that RFP language seemed to slight the bike lanes option. We also noted that it presumed community opposition to boulevard expansion for lanes, and we also observed that the draft RFP failed to include Complete Streets principles. We argued that because the RFP establishes bidder expectations, it’s important to craft it carefully. Councilmembers agreed and sent it back for revisions. Here’s the recap.
Since we’ve first talked about bi-directional Class II bike lanes for the Santa Monica Boulevard corridor, City of Beverly Hills officials have said that widening the boulevard for any purpose (including bike lanes) was a no-go proposition. Former Mayor Jimmy Delshad put a fine point on it in City Council in mid-2010 when he said, “We’re not widening the boulevard!” That was just after he said, “All options are on the table.” All options were clearly not on the table.
Here at Better Bike we’re wondering if cyclists may be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel after all for bike improvements. After our August meeting with the ad-hoc Bike Plan Update Committee, we noted that the Transportation division would proceed on a pilot program of route improvements, which could include lanes, markings, and signage. And the city said that it would hire an intern to work bike issues in the Transportation division. Here’s the latest developments according to Aaron Kunz, City of Beverly Hills Deputy Director for Transportation this week.
Here’s a guy doing everything right as he makes his way through the Wilshire & Santa Monica Boulevard intersection. He’s traveling like a vehicular cyclist should: in the traffic lane with the flow and not on the sidewalk. He’s waited patiently for the green light. And he’s wearing his helmet. City of Beverly Hills Transportation and California DOT can’t ask anything more of him. But there’s a lot more he can ask of these agencies.
We caught up with Aaron Kunz, Deputy Director of Transportation, for an update on the Beverly Hills bike plan update process. In a wide-ranging recap we discussed the timetable and process for reconstructing Santa Monica Boulevard; opportunities for adding on-boulevard bike lanes to that corridor to support regional connectivity; progress on bringing a bike rack program to the city; and next steps on the pilot program. Here’s the recap – first the corridor reconstruction then the rest.
The Americans With Disabilities Act was signed into law just over two decades ago. The landmark legislation requires ramps, curb cuts and reserved parking, of course, but it also marked a new era by codifying universal access as a new civil right for people of all abilities. Accommodations that ensure access we see in the physical environment every day. But the cultural change is less-noticed but more important. Do cyclists need a right of access like the Disabilities Act in order to secure the accommodations we should expect by right, and to spark the cultural shift necessary simply to create conditions for our safe travel on public roads? I believe that we do need it, and I suggest we campaign for … Continue reading
Several years ago, Congress amended the United States Code to highlight the importance of multi-modal transportation. For the first time, walking and cycling was brought to the foreground as legitimate transportation options (not just for recreation) and pedestrians and cyclists were recognized as key transportation constituencies. Then the state of California mandated that active transportation concerns be integrated into local plans. But there is a world of difference between these guidelines and the actual inclusion of such policies in local plans and innovations in constructed projects.